Whether you’re seeking an internship, your first post-grad role, or a career in a new industry, the idea of job searching can cause anyone to sweat. While nerves are normal, keeping a cool head and thinking strategically can turn the process from stressful to seamless. As you look for your next position, remember these five simple tips built to set you up for success.
- Make sure your resume is in tip-top shape
Think of your resume as your marketing tool. It doesn’t need to encompass everything you’ve ever done, but you’ll want to make sure that it highlights your strengths and key relevant experiences. When it comes to your bullet points, don’t just list what you did in each role. Use dynamic action verbs to convey how your skill set contributed to the overall organization. Let those transferable skills shine!
- Master that cover letter
Hiring managers can tell when you’re using a generic cover letter, so don’t take a shortcut! Whereas your resume should highlight your key experiences, your cover letter should speak specifically to how your background and career interests make you an ideal candidate for the position. Do your research on the employer, pay close attention to the job description, and focus on what makes you uniquely qualified for the role. Don’t forget to proofread and make sure your writing is tight and effective. Communication skills are just as important as content.
- Utilize those resources
No matter your grad year, the Center for Career Development is here to support you, and we can point you to countless resources as well. Davidson students and alumni can search thousands of jobs, internships, and experiential learning opportunities through Handshake, and more postings are added every day. (Alums wishing to receive access to Handshake can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.) Under the Handshake “Resources” page, you’ll also find industry-specific guides, as well as tips on becoming the Best Intern Ever and information on fellowships and scholarships. Of course, there is no substitute for one-on-one career advising, so we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a career advisor in person, over the phone, or via Skype!
- Connect for some career conversations
If you’re looking to gain insight into a career or company, speaking directly with someone in the industry can be invaluable. A career conversation is an excellent opportunity to get a feel for an organization, ask a seasoned pro how they got their start, and even gain feedback as you prep for an interview. Davidson students and grads will find an unparalleled resource in the Davidson Career Advisor Network (DCAN), which is comprised of alumni, parents, and members of the Davidson community who are experts in their fields and are eager to support fellow Wildcats on their career journeys. If you’re on LinkedIn (and you should be!), be sure to join the 6,000+ members of the Davidson College Network and search for alums by company, class year, or industry through the Davidson Database.
- Take a breather
Searching for a job is a job itself. Take care of yourself during the process! Dedicate scheduled time to searching and applying for positions, but make sure that you are also carving out time to do the things you enjoy. Have lunch with a friend, see a movie, or simply take a walk. You’ll return to your search rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready to see things with a clear perspective.
Some job searches are swift, some are lengthy. Have patience and remember that it’s all a normal part of the process. And when you land that position? Let us know about it! We love to hear your success stories and can’t wait to cheer you on as you embark on your next journey.